annoying project day

by | Jul 31, 2018 | a slice of life, All Things Home, Balance | 34 comments

I’m sure I am not alone with it comes to not quite finishing some of the more annoying and easily overlooked parts of a DIY project.  When I am really focused and disciplined, I’ll pin myself down and force myself to finish that last bit of painting or put in that final piece of shoe molding.  But there are other times that I want to move onto to something higher impact than installing a small piece of quarter-round that’s hidden behind a door or painting the 1 1/2″ strip of trim around the screen door.

There are a couple of larger, alluring projects I’m excited to start working on, so I decided to use those as an incentive to finish some of the annoying things that have been languishing on my to-do list.  I can’t start something new until I completely finish those projects.  I called it my “annoying project day” and it was surprising how declaring it as such motivated me to knock out anything that fit under that label.

First up was painting the trim around the windows in the dining room, home office, and around the sliding door off the kitchen.  I painted the wood window trim when I painted the room, but not the frames around each window.  I generally love painting, but not this irritatingly tedious variety.  It is done, though!  Primed and painted and done.

It’s a small thing, but the off-white window frame against the bright white trim ended up looking dingy and unfinished.  I also painted the trim around the doors in my office as well as the interior side of the doors.  I’ll paint the exterior once I start on the foyer.

As I finish more and more projects, the parts of the house that are not done become more glaring!

I also painted the interior of the hutch in the dining room.  That is another paint job that can never be filed under fun-things-to-do.  I just have to put on some good music and look forward to when it’s finished.

The dark wood was a real stinker on this one, too, so it took three coats.  I’ll show you how it turned out in another post.

And, my last annoying project was to strip the red paisley chairs in the kitchen eating area.

I was only able to get one done before I had to call it quits on my “annoying project day”, but I still accomplished a ton and the motivation carried over into the next couple of days.  I ended up getting one chair upholstered yesterday and the other one almost completed today.  They look so good on their own and in the space, so I can’t wait to show those!

Summer has been challenging for me…trying to juggle the boys being home all day and working, but I’ve found it’s been a good time to chip away at projects that don’t require quiet and concentration.  I can work on them between doling out snacks, neighborhood kids coming over to play, and going to the pool or a matinee.  It’s pretty haphazard, but it’s about as much of a work routine as I’m going to get until school starts again!

Does anyone else need to schedule an “annoying project day”?


  1. Jane

    As a procrastinator, yes, I schedule an annoying project day. Well, not projects per se, but chores. One day I’ll just decide to tackle all the yucky chores at once. The weird thing is that I spend more time procrastinating over things than the actual time it takes to accomplish them. And when I’m done I treat myself to a bowl of ice cream! Feels good, doesn’t it?

  2. Susan

    Fun to see your little rocking horse again! Didn’t recognize that hallway. Would love to see a video tour of the whole first floor! Long-time reader here, but I don’t have a sense of how the rooms flow together like I did with your old house. I hope you aren’t waiting for it to be “perfect” first! 😁 You have accomplished so much in your first year!

  3. KathieB

    Hmmm…I think I could use ab “annoying projects” week, or even a whole month!

    • Kim

      You and me both! Maybe even a year would be what I need. Sigh. I keep chipping away at least, but new stuff comes up!

      • Nancy A

        Yes, a YEAR for sure! I can hardly believe Marian got all that done in one DAY, and with boys at home!

  4. Mel

    Oh Marian! Do you possibly have a tutorial that I missed, or one in the works, for how to reupholster the paisley chairs? I’ve got a pair similar that I really want to work on, but I haven’t a clue how to go about it.

  5. Kate

    I use annoying projects to wind down after a day at the computer. They get me up on my feet and give my eyes and brain a rest. I tend to hyper focus on my editing and writing projects and would probably work late into the night if it weren’t for my husband saying, “Enough!” Yesterday evening, I moved our LP collection and finally got it into some order.

  6. Angie

    Today is my annoying project day – as soon as the 65lb puppy sleeping on my lap wakes up. I haven’t the heart to wak him up just yet. I have a bunch of house chores to do, some painting and sewing, and a whole lot of drywall to mud and tape! I also need to prep a stair for repainting, I’ve been procrastinating on that one for a while now. I need to watch an instructional video as well and I’ll bet I can cross that one off my list while my lap warmer is snoring away.

  7. Connie in GA

    Yes! I need an annoying project weekend for window trim painting. I’m going from a creamy white to a whiter white and know just what you mean about the window trim looking dingy against the fresh paint. It “annoys” me every time I walk past. Hopefully, this weekend is it! As always, Marian, thanks so much for your inspiration!!

  8. Char

    Nothing like putting a house on the market to get those annoying unfinished projects completed. Now I have a new list to tackle in the new house.

  9. Cathy

    I need an annoying project week (reality is probably a month)😳.

  10. Colleen A Tumulty

    At least you are really good at everything you do and it looks great when you are done. Amazing that you can do that with the boys home. I couldn’t get much done but taking care of and feeding my 4 boys during the summer because I need long stretches of time and quiet to do projects which was in short supply with 4 boys and friends in the house. Now I have time and quiet but miss my boys. Colleen

  11. Lydia

    Almost every day 🙂

  12. Tracy

    Could I have some of your energy? Or can you make some and sell it to me?? 😉

  13. Pamela

    Yes, I need an annoying projects day or two. Just over a year in this house and it’s so true that the more things I complete then the undone projects really stand out and bug me!

  14. Diane Ruebel

    What amazes me is how you can paint those “annoying” places without moving them out or protecting everything around them. Nevertheless, I’m inspired to schedule a day replete with tarps and drop cloths. You’re amazing!

    • Marian Parsons

      Ha! Well, I paint a lot, so I’ve gotten pretty neat with it. I do usually put some old towels directly under where I’m painting in order to catch any drips.

  15. Janet in Kansas City

    I’m with Cathy…I need a month.

  16. PJ

    I am a list maker and putting all my “annoying projects” on my list keeps me accountable. Funny how much more productive I am on the days that I make a list in the morning or the night before. You have inspired me to tour the house and add to my list!

  17. cheapdiva

    For the first time ever I spent part of my summer vacation at home and tackled all sorts of projects (including painting a small chest in Layla’s Mint). I am now patiently waiting for Labor Day weekend to do some other projects.

  18. Addie

    How come I feel I need a nap after reading your blog?
    I have been a big fan of the red paisley chairs staying red…..but I saw a peek on Instagram and WOW!!!!!!!! Gorgeous !!!!!
    Yes, love them better!!!! My favorite camera shot is when you show the dining room mural, chandelier with a peek of the butler’s pantry…..of course it may change to that stairway kitchen area when the new chairs are there!!!! Oh!!! it’s ALL good!!! Love it all!!!
    Do you have any plans for your side light windows flanking your front door? I have them too, with just clear glass-no panes. I feel (mine) need something…..even for privacy. I’ve caught the mail lady peeking in!!!…..If I lived in your neighborhood I would peek in yours!!!! lolololo….and it would be like Christmas!!!

  19. judy

    I’m ancient so my favorite thing in your decor were the red chairs,if you put drop cloth on them or something grey I will not be surprised. Funny how the vision of the next generation rejects the taste of the previous. Wonder if your kids will be back to tie dye and psychedelic colors. Fun!

    • Marian Parsons

      I actually loved the pattern of the fabric, it was just the color that wasn’t working with my home and the upholstery was pretty stained. I reupholstered them in a blue & white buffalo check, so it works with my home and with the traditional feel of the chairs.

  20. CoCo

    Oh, my word – this is a genius idea! I need to do this so bad. I dread having to paint several areas of trim and molding, as well as address the tacks on two of the chairs in our breakfast nook. I never thought about using those tasks as a motivator to start on the projects that I’m excited about doing though. I’m definitely going to be trying this! Thanks for the great tip! Hugs, CoCo

  21. Elaine

    Everything is looking great. How do you hang the plates on the wall. Thanks

  22. Ann Brooks

    How much fabric do you need to purchase to cover the red chairs? I have two also and want to attempt to reupholster. Thanks.

    • Marian Parsons

      I used about 2 yards/chair, but it does depend on the repeat.

  23. Linda Charlton

    I need to schedule one right now. I need to finish painting the door in my kitchen so I can move on to the rest of my trim. I won’t start another area till this is done.

  24. Debbie

    Just finished an “annoying project”….hemming some drop cloth curtains that I’d wanted to let “puddle” but a certain two-year-old grandson just couldn’t let them!! Glad to have that done and hope he’s not too disappointed the next time he comes here.

  25. Caro

    This is a great idea. As soon as I finish this comment, I’m going to make a list and schedule a day very soon. Maybe two days.

    I once took all my unfinished needlework projects on vacation. We were staying in Maine in a cottage with no tv. It was so relaxing to work on them in the evenings while we talked and listened to the birds and water lapping. I finished them all – it was so satisfying.

  26. Frances

    I need a whole month! I started priming the kitchen cabinets after seeing one of your tutorials 2 years ago, then got really busy with my fine art, and dropped all consideration of working on the house. I have a ton of garden chores in various stages of completion and we haven’t really discussed any personalization of the house. The walls are still dingy flat paint that is very unappealing.
    I honestly feel very overwhelmed, so I have printed out some project planning sheets, hoping to get started on the smaller things to motivate me to work on the bigger projects. I honestly have no idea how you do it all.

  27. Shelia

    Dear lovely lad.y, what colors did you use for the dining room buffet? It is perfect, thank you for sharing😔🤗

  28. Carol P.

    We downsized a year ago this week and we are still doing projects that had to be done. This little 1950 bungalow has charm, but has needed a lot of attention. Many annoying partly done projects left. Thank you for the inspiration to just do it. What we HAVE done is very satisfying, so fully expecting to be able to relax and enjoy it all by this coming fall. Appreciate your sharing your gifts and talents with us all.

  29. MaryLisa Noyes

    I love the title! The summers in the Seattle area are short lived so I don’t get cracking again until fall sets in for those indoor tasks. I’m such a morning person so my energy is booming until about 3pm. I’m going to refer to this post in the fall for my motivation!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


Subscribe today

and receive a FREE e-version of my planning sheets!

decorating, projects, and recipes for winter


Articles by Date


our sponsors

Bliss and Tell Branding Company